The Estonian Ministry of Finance wants to introduce stricter cryptocurrency licensing rules. This came after authorities revoked licenses of about two-thirds of the cryptocurrency companies operating in the country in 2020.
As reported by ERR News, the Estonian Ministry of Finance issued a bill back in January to tighten the screws in the country’s crypto industry. As part of the proposed rule changes, the Financial Supervision Authority – the Estonian Financial Conduct Authority – will oversee the cryptocurrency regulations, not the Financial Intelligence Unit.
This change will lead to the management of cryptocurrencies under the supervision of financial regulators, in contrast to the current model in which the Financial Intelligence Unit, which is part of the police department, will control the cryptocurrency business.
Crypto companies interested in operating in Estonia must pay a license fee to the Financial Supervision Authority. The current 381 licensees must reapply for an FCA operating license.
According to Erkki Beagle, a Treasury spokesman, the government’s goal is not to fight encryption. However, authorities expect that only 50 to 100 licensed cryptocurrency companies will be able to comply with the proposed regulatory changes.
The proposed rule changes are also being submitted to the anti-money laundering authorities. Back in June 2020, there was a $ 220 billion money laundering scandal involving Danske Bank. In 2020, there were also reports that cryptocurrency scammers bypassed the country’s e-residency program.
However, the recent political unrest in Estonia over the resignation of Prime Minister Yuri Ratas in a corruption scandal has led to the suspension of the proposed law. In fact, today was the deadline for parliamentary discussion of this issue.